The Cutest Christmas Getaway: Winchester

The Cutest Christmas Getaway: Winchester Reading Time: 4 minutes

With my Birthday coming up in January and it being the festive season, Cam (my boyfriend) and I decided to treat ourselves with a trip to historic Winchester and its renowned Christmas Market.

Winchester station

Unfortunately this was the sky on the day we left, it rained the rest of the time!

Amongst all this rain and weird mildness that absolutely does not fit the bill for December, it takes a little more effort to build festive excitement. My brother opted for the guaranteed option of a walk down Regent Street, but for many, like me, a couple of nights stay in London would burn too big a hole in one’s pocket! Instead, we settled on Winchester- the previous capital of England!


England’s Ancient Capital.

Of course such a destination was no stab in the dark, we knew of the famous Christmas Market at Winchester Cathedral; and what better way to immerse yourself in festivities than to be surrounded by pretty lights, the smells of mulled wine and the giggles of skaters on an outdoor ice rink? Yes, Winchester was pretty much a guaranteed success as well… and at a fraction of London prices!


Churros and mulled wine stands.

Christmas lights

Christmas lights and the sounds of trumpets.

While the Christmas Market is a major attraction for this city, it has far more to offer all year round. As I previously mentioned, Winchester is the ancient capital of England and preceded London as home of the monarch. It is no surprise therefore, that the small city is so steeped in history: the great Cathedral beholds not only beauty, but an impressive heritage.


A peek of the Cathedral through the sparkling trees.

inside cathedral

The immense interior of the awesome Cathedral.


Such a high roof allowed for the biggest Christmas tree I have ever seen!


We lit a candle for our Christmas prayers.

Further culture surrounds the Great Hall (all that remains of Winchester Castle) dating from the 13th century. Displayed here is the legendary Round Table of King Arthur’s knights.


Buildings around the Great Hall.

Name wall

Wall displaying the names of kings, knights and members of parliament.

Round table

King Arthur’s legendary round table.

Great Hall outside

The Great Hall.

While it is impossible to escape the heritage and culture of this now relatively small city with it’s beautiful and iconic range of architecture, Winchester offers excellent shopping and dining opportunities for those with other interests. With many independent shops and department stores as well as popular high street names such as Debenhams, Cath Kidston and River Island, Winchester gave Cam and I the perfect opportunity for some Christmas shopping! We were also so spoilt for choice in dinner options that we agreed we would have needed a whole week of eating out 3 meals a day in order to sample all the restaurants and cafés that took our fancy!

HIgh street

Rather a pretty high-street.


The beautifully lit Library.

Finally we settled for Brasserie Blanc (pardon the cringe just coming) as this was where Cam and I went for our first date in Oxford, and then The Stable with its intriguing menu offering pizza or pie!? Finally we chose Ask Italian for desserts of profiteroles and cheesecake…. slightly naughty but Christmas is for indulging with dieting and healthy stuff postponed till January!


Leek and potato soup…


…followed by pan-fried gnocchi.


Stone-baked pizza. (Candle light is all very lovely, but awful for photo quality!)


Chicken and Gammon pie with giant potato wedges.


Honeycomb cheesecake.

Winchester was quintessentially romantic and perfect for its festive atmosphere . While Christmas is definitely a wonderful time to visit this gorgeous city, I have no doubt that its charm works its magic throughout the year!

For more information on Winchester as a city, these pages provide a great insight:



For a truly delightful, comfortable and perfectly located hotel, look no further than the Winchester Royal Hotel:


hotel outside

Just two minutes from the high-street and five from the station.